Disinfo: Crimea always has been Russian

Summary

The Russian Special Forces imposed control of government institutions in Crimea on 27 February 2014, and Crimea returned to the motherland Russia, according to a referendum held on March 16, 2014.

Crimea has been administratively attached to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine since the early 1950s. In March 2014, Crimea regained its historical Russian identity at the will of its inhabitants.

Disproof

While it is true that Russian Forces imposed their control on government institutions in Crimea by force, the latter narrative is recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to rejoin Russia through a legal referendum and that Crimea has never belonged to Ukraine.

The transfer of Crimea and Sevastopol to Ukraine was first officially agreed on 25 January 1954 at a meeting of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee. The members of the Presidium, voting for the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine, took into account objective reasons: “the commonality of the economy, territorial proximity and close economic and cultural ties between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR.”

On 19 February 1954, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR confirmed the need for Crimea to join Soviet Ukraine. Legally, the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine ended on 26 April 1954, on the basis of the relevant law of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. According to international law, Crimea is a part of Ukraine.

After the collapse of the USSR, Russia reaffirmed respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.

By signing the 1997 Friendship Treaty, Russia also recognised that Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.

A year after the illegal annexation, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has stated that “the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol amounts to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This international armed conflict began at the latest on 26 February 2014 when the Russian Federation deployed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of  Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian Government".

On 27 March 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. On 17 December 2018, the UN General Assembly confirmed its non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea.

The EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol includes a set of restrictive measures against entities and individuals responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity. In March 2019, on the fifth anniversary of Crimea'sannexation, the EU reiterated its position of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. The EU continues to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine, supporting its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Read similar cases claiming that Crimean people have expressed their desire to rejoin Russia in a democratic process and that Crimea never belonged to Ukraine.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 186
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 27/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: USSR, Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: illegal annexation, Manipulated elections/referendum, Referendum, Crimea
  • Outlet: RT web Arabic, alhemyarianews, ghorbanews, kachaf, akhbarlibya
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Crimea rejoined the embrace of Russia

Crimea rejoined the embrace of Russia.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Crimea did not "return" to Russia but was illegally annexed by Moscow.

High rating given to Estonia by “Reporters without borders” is fiction

Such a situation is unacceptable in the European country. There is no freedom of speech in Estonia. Those high ratings given to them by “Reporters without borders” (RSF) are fictions.

Disproof

One of the methods of Kremlin disinformation is to deny the authority of international organisations and independent agencies and question their missions. Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is a leading international non-profit and non-governmental organisation that safeguards the right to freedom of information. Its mandate is to promote free, independent and pluralistic journalism and to defend media workers.

In Estonia, Sputnik is represented as a victim of unprecedented persecution. This kind of statements were debunked several times (read more here). The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya.

Coronavirus is an artificial virus

Indian scientists have been experimenting with new coronavirus and have discovered that it contains two types of coronavirus – bat and snake, as well as four types of HIV viral infections. In December 2019, we learned about the COVID-19 virus in China. The most interesting is that just a few months before, US President Donald Trump announced that “Unless China pulls itself together, they will be sorely regretting.”  Given the findings of Indian scientists, we come to the conclusion that this is an artificial virus.

Disproof

The statement is another example of conspiracy narratives on a plot against China, profitable to the US. See more examples of groundless statements about the coronavirus here.

A preprint scientific manuscript published Jan. 31 by a group of Indian researchers suggested that the virus, known as COVID-19, may have been deliberately engineered using the HIV. The findings, which fed conspiracy theories that the new virus might be a bioweapon, have sparked a huge controversy. The authors withdrew the paper on Feb. 2 from the bioRxiv preprint server.